UKCEH Commitment to Postgraduate Researchers

The status of UKCEH as a centre of scientific excellence is complemented by a prominent role in the training & education of Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs). PGRs benefit from diverse laboratory facilities, field sites & data centres to support their research. Over 100 UKCEH Supervisors work together in multi-skilled teams to offer a unique breadth of experience & knowledge to advise & assist PGRs throughout their training.

Postgraduate community

Over 170 PGRs are undertaking their PhD research with UKCEH. Many PGRs are registered with the Universities of Edinburgh, Lancaster, Bangor & Reading.

UKCEH is an active partner in 51 different studentship funding agreements, including 5 UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training & 12 Doctoral Training Partnerships, the Graduate School for the Environment, Marie-Curie ITN, Leverhulme Trust & as a collaborator with over 17 CASE award partners. PGRs at UKCEH access a wide range of training & ideas from these connections.

What you can expect as a PGR at UKCEH

  • As a PGR at UKCEH you can access diverse laboratory facilities, field sites & data centres to support your research. UKCEH supervisors & staff offer a unique breadth of experience and knowledge to advise & assist you throughout your training in a multi-disciplinary environment.

  • UKCEH offers bespoke training for postgraduate researchers through early-career Skill Shares, Seminar Days & workshops. All postgraduate researchers are able to request one-to-one support in completing a personal training needs analysis.  

  • PGRs at UKCEH are also eligible to attend a variety of specialised training courses developed for UKCEH staff & ecological & hydrological professionals.
  • In addition to your UKCEH supervisor, you will be supported by the Researcher Development Coordinator, Local Welfare Officers, Postgraduate Liaison Officers & your local Postgraduate Representatives. Together, they offer opportunities for you to reflect on your PhD, to receive support & gain mentoring for your career development.

Masters projects & research placements

If you are interested in ideas & supervision for a Masters Project or summer work experience during your degree, please browse the six Science Areas for details of current UKCEH research interests. Once you have found a group you are interested in joining, please contact the Science Group Leader (listed under each Science Area) outlining the reason for your interest, the nature of the project work you would like to undertake, suitable dates & how you would be funded.

Current PhD opportunities

Please browse the list below for details of current opportunities & contact the lead UKCEH supervisor with any queries. Full contact details are provided on project adverts or on the UKCEH staff webpages. Please check individual adverts for details of how to apply.


Graduate School for the Environment

The Graduate School for the Environment is a collaboration between UKCEH, the Lancaster Environment Centre & Rothamsted Research. PhD projects are available in Biological Science, Environmental Science & Geography. Opportunities are available to develop your own self-funded proposal, to apply for a funded position or to apply through a Doctoral Training Partnership.



Doctoral training partnerships


ACCE (Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment)

ACCE's vision is to develop motivated, confident & multi-skilled PhD students, undertaking cutting-edge research & tackling environmental science questions of global significance. Studentships are offered between the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool, York & UKCEH in a multi-disciplinary environment including biologists, mathematicians, analytical chemists & policy experts. See details of all ACCE projects here.

Projects starting in October 2021:

CENTA (Central England NERC Training Alliance)

CENTA research spans 6 universities (Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Warwick & The Open University) & research institutes (UKCEH & BGS). A critical mass of researchers in climate & environmental sustainability, organisms & ecosystems & the dynamic earth provide a range of training & facilities. Training is supported by end-users from industry to non-governmental organisations & government agencies. See details of all CENTA projects here

Projects starting in October 2021:

E4 (Edinburgh Earth, Ecology & Environment)

Edinburgh has one of the highest concentrations of NERC-remit research in the UK. The clustering of environmental research around Edinburgh means that E4 students are part of a vibrant community of researchers & professionals that extends to many opportunities in science, policy, charity & business activities. See full details of all E4 projects here.

Projects starting in October 2021:

Envision (Developing next generation leaders in environmental science)

Envision brings together a powerful group of UK researchers with industry & NGO partners to provide a new generation of environmental scientists with the skills, knowledge & experience they need to take on the challenges of a changing world.  Led by Lancaster University, research falls into the 3 areas of environmental change, sustainable use of natural resources & environmental hazards & risk. See full details of all Envision projects here.

Projects starting in October 2021:

GW4+ (Great Western Four)

GW4+ identifies areas of complementary expertise across the universities of Bristol, Bath, Cardiff & Exeter to develop research communities at scale, to address major global & industrial challenges. The collaborative research & innovation of GW4+ recognises & builds on the industrial & research strengths of the South West, working across the natural sciences & encouraging collaborative projects between the universities, research institutes & industrial & public sector partners. See full details of all GW4+ projects here

Projects starting in October 2021:


Named after the ancient ocean that closed to bring together England and Scotland, IAPETUS is a partnership that joins the leading research universities of Durham, Glasgow, Heriot Watt, Newcastle, St Andrews & Stirling, together with UKCEH, BAS & BGS, in a united approach to doctoral research & training the next generation of leaders in the science of the natural environment. See details of all IAPETUS projects here

Projects starting in October 2021:

Oxford DTP in Environmental Research

The Oxford DTP in Environmental Research offers a world class, multidisciplinary training environment for the next generation of researchers working at the frontiers of Environmental Research. The Oxford DTP operates slightly differently, with two studentship routes. Some students are recruited direct to CASE or collaborative projects, while others are not admitted directly to project and apply to one of the three research streams (for students who wish to devise their own projects). See details of how to apply here.

SCENARIO (Science of the Environment: Natural and Anthropogenic pRocesses, Impacts and Opportunities)

The scientific scope of SCENARIO is broad, spanning the physical, chemical and biological processes within the overarching theme of "environmental risk and sustainability" over a wide range of temporal & spatial scales. SCENARIO incorporates supervisory expertise spanning the science of atmosphere, oceans, ice, hydrology, soil, ecosystems & space weather. SCENARIO seeks to attract high-quality graduates from science, mathematics & engineering degrees. See details of all SCENARIO projects here.

Projects starting in October 2021:

SSCP (Science & Solutions for a Changing Planet)

The SSCP DTP harnesses world leading expertise from Imperial College London & Core Partner Institutions to offer a unique multidisciplinary PhD training programme. SSCP’s key scientific challenge is to understand & quantify complex biological, physical & human systems, & the interactions between them, in sufficient detail to predict & manage future change. This knowledge is used to develop innovative technical, business & policy responses to environmental & societal challenges. See details of all SSCP projects here

Projects starting in October 2021

Centres for doctoral training



There are no CDT projects currently advertised.